Spotlight on the 2015 Georgia Engineers Week Awards Gala, the Winners of the ACEC Georgia Engineering Excellence Awards and GSPE Engineer of the Year Awards On February 28, 2015, nearly 300 of the industry’s best and brightest from throughout the state converged in Atlanta for the annual Engineers Week Awards Gala, an evening that celebrates the industry as a whole - the individual professionals, engineering firms and engineering projects. This event, hosted at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers, was the cap to a week-long celebration of the engineering industry. During the reception and dinner, attendees enjoyed listening to the talented North Atlanta High School Jazz Band perform. Steven Sheffield, Georgia Engineers Week Committee Chair, and Kevin Berry, President- Elect of the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers kicked off the evening and welcomed to the stage the recipients of the Organization Volunteer of the Year Awards and the Engineering Employers of the Year Awards. Rising stars, distinguished professionals and lifetime achievers were then honored during the Engineer of the Year awards presentation. These winners are selected by the Engineering Council of Birmingham based on their contributions to the profession, public welfare and humankind. The evening concluded with the recognition ACEC Georgia’s Engineering Excellence Awards and the announcement of the 2015 Engineering Excellence Grand Prize Winner. A panel of eight judges selected five State Award winners and fifteen Honor Award winners from a slew of highly innovative projects that were evaluated on several criteria: project uniqueness; future value to the engineering profession; perception by the public; complexity; and successful fulfilment of client/owner needs. This year’s gala honored the following industry leaders and feats of engineering genius… This year’s prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards Grand Prize was awarded to Uzun + Case, LLC as the engineer of record for the $150 million New North Atlanta High School Renovation and Addition. Despite many obstacles, this project serves as an example of how engineers can adapt to very complex sets of constraints and produce an elegant solution that satisfies all required demands. In addition to a stunning end-result, Uzun + Case is being heralded for its innovative solutions to a number of unique challenges. This adaptive reuse project involved an existing 56-acre office complex that consisted of the Lakeside Building – an 11-story office building spanning over a lake; the Hillside Building – a 10-story office building; a connecting structure; and a parking deck. The Lakeside Building and connector were renovated to contain classroom, administrative and media facilities, while the Hillside Building was demolished to make way for a new 125,000-square-foot extracurricular facility. In the Lakeside Building, new openings were required in the existing post tensioned beam floor system for new monumental and egress stairs. The capacity of the existing structure was increased through a combination of carbon fiber reinforced polymer reinforcing, widening of existing beams through the use of external post tensioning, and the installation of new steel wide flange beams. In the Hillside Building, due to difficult excavation of partially weathered rock subgrade, the retaining wall in the gym required a specialty design. Also, due to sloping rock features, a hybrid deep foundation system was required to reduce unwanted differential settlement. To satisfy architectural requirements, a dual steel braced frame and concrete moment frame lateral system was employed. The New North Atlanta High School project has provided a state-of-the-art learning facility to the surrounding community and will serve as a testament of adaptive reuse projects to architects and engineers alike for years to come. The completed project stands as a nationally recognized, marquee Atlanta Public Schools high school. HATCH MOTT MACDONALD Riverwalk – 14th Street Bridge Plaza Columbus, GA Since its original construction in 1833, the historic 14th Street Bridge in Columbus, GA has been destroyed four different times and was the site of the last major Civil War land battle. The current incarnation, built in 1920, is a nine-span, earth-filled, closed spandrel arch structure that was rehabilitated in 2013 to serve as a pedestrian plaza connection over the Chattahoochee River between the Columbus and the Alabama Riverwalks. It provides the perfect vantage point for watching the “Longest Urban” whitewater rafting course in the nation. The structural restoration required extensive investigation of the condition of the structure, due to the lack of plans for the structure. Hatch Mott MacDonald used design details from other similarly constructed bridges of that period to develop an approach for the rehabilitation of the concrete arches and replacement of the overhangs. The restoration of the piers included detailed 3-D hydraulic modeling by the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group. The restoration of the natural rivers rapids was part of the creation of a whitewater rafting course. The modeling was done to develop bridge pier nose treatments to create a safer environment for rafters by minimizing the likelihood of a whitewater craft from broach or wrapping around the front of the pier. The project serves the cities of Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama by restoring pedestrian access between the Riverwalks and contributing to continued economic development in the region. HEATH & LINEBACK ENGINEERS, INC. I-85/GA 400 Interchange Ramps & North Fork Creekside Trail Atlanta, GA This project completes the system-to-system interchange of GA 400 with I-85, and represents an early venture for the Georgia Department of Transportation into managing and completing such a major endeavor using the design/build (D/B) methodology. Heath & Lineback partnered with Archer Western to design and build the project. Originally built in the 1990s, the interchange was not “complete” in that not all ramps were included. The project included construction of two ramps, almost two miles of roadway, and four bridge structures. The new ramps provide I-85 southbound traffic with direct access to GA 400 northbound and also give GA 400 southbound motorists a direct ramp to I-85 northbound. Significant traffic growth and projections for future demand made it vital to add these ramps – under the constraint of keeping the existing interchange in service. Efficient maintenance of traffic during construction was paramount to mobility and safety – the existing interchange carried approximately 500,000 vehicles per day. The D/B team focused on finding the most efficient design and construction methods for the four bridges that represented the majority of the project cost. As the design developed, the team partnered with GDOT to design and construct innovative solutions that eliminated several potentially expensive utility relocations – saving time, money, and disruption to the traveling public. Through local resident input, the project was expanded to include a ½ mile recreational trail, which includes a 165-foot clear span bridge over the creek, three minor stream crossings and several walls built to avoid unsightly cut and fill slopes. The North Fork Creekside Trail is representative of the first nature trail built by GDOT. KECK & WOOD, INC. North Broad Street Redevelopment Winder, GA Through an effective informal partnership, Keck & Wood and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) merged a Transportation Enhancement Streetscape project with a GDOT maintenance project. The end-result was the very successful redevelopment of North Broad Street through downtown Winder, Georgia – the route of three collinear state highways. The project corrected major deficiencies in the street and reduced congestion, while greatly enhancing the livability of downtown Winder with dramatic improvements to the sidewalks and pedestrian access to local businesses. Pooling Transportation Enhancement Grant funds, city funds, and funding from a “Highways for Life” grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) resulted in a $4.9 million construction budget. Construction included use of a new pre-cast concrete slab technology with overnight installation to shorten traffic interruption and avoid interference with business activities. Keck & Wood worked closely with GDOT design staff to merge the plans and specifications for the roadway work and streetscape work into a consolidated set of construction documents. The streetscape design included green technology LED street lighting for energy conservation and xeriscape planting materials for minimal irrigation. The project was completed two months ahead of schedule and within the budget. Completion of the project has stimulated new business and renewed vitality in downtown Winder. PERRYCRABB WellStar Paulding Hospital Hiram, GA WellStar Paulding Hospital is a new 100-bed regional medical destination located in Hiram. The project includes a new 295,000-square-foot replacement hospital and 80,000-square-foot integrated medical office building, both attached to an existing outpatient care facility. In keeping with their mission of improving the health and well-being of the community, WellStar envisioned a world-class healthcare center in fast-growing Paulding County, focused on safety, Lean operation and patient experience. They chose an integrated design team and tasked PerryCrabb with reducing energy and water consumption, creating the safest indoor environment and minimizing impact on the community. Even before the building plan was developed, PerryCrabb’s design process involved exploration of new ideas, unconventional systems and collaborative decision-making. This process led to some key decisions, including a whole-house stand-by power system to improve reliability; high-intensity ultraviolet irradiation in the air handling system to reduce the opportunity for transmission of infection; radiant-floor heating and cooling for efficient comfort in the open atrium; and a geothermal heat pump system that heats the building with recovered heat. Ultimately, the community benefits from zero emissions as no fossil fuels are burned on site to heat the building, and the hospital benefits from low energy, water and maintenance costs. WellStar’s goals are to lead the medical field in innovative and evidence-based design concepts, efficiency in Lean principles and processes, sustainability and the creation of a holistic environment that creates an integrative patient and family experience. In the words of WellStar’s CEO, Reynold J. Jennings, “This fits our mission.” LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD GEORGE “ED” ELLIS, P.E. Vice President Kimley-Horn As he transitions to retirement, Ed Ellis’ impressive career history reads like a roadmap. A leader in Atlanta’s transportation engineering industry since 1972, he has worked for the Georgia Department of Transportation for six years and in the consulting business for 36 years – 15 of which at the helm of his own firm. Over the course of the last 43 years, Ellis has consulted in both the public and private sectors and has been responsible for several hundred traffic studies ranging from malls to churches to mixeduse developments. Some of his public sector clients have included Georgia Department of Transportation, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Atlanta Regional Commission, Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and many city and county governments. He also has worked for eight of the Atlanta area Community Improvement Districts and most of the major commercial developers in the Atlanta area. In addition to his incredible body of work, Ellis has been a past president of both the Georgia Section Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. He also served on the executive committee and chaired the transportation committee for the Council for Quality Growth, and was active in the Georgia Conservancy Blueprints Partners and ULI Smart Growth Committee. Ellis is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, and has been a volunteer for transportation issues with the Midtown Alliance for more than 10 years. Ellis is often asked to share his insights about transportation issues, and he has been responsible for hundreds of panel discussions, group presentations and thought leadership articles. He also regularly advises neighborhoods regarding traffic studies and public workshops in a pro bono capacity. As a result of this obvious dedication, his honors include Engineer of the Year in Private Practice (1998), Metro Atlanta Engineer of the Year Award (2000), the Karl Bevins Award for outstanding service by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (2001) and now the Lifetime Achievement Award (2015). The University of South Carolina graduate currently lives on St. Simons Island with his high school sweetheart and wife of 43 years - Jean. The couple’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren live in New Jersey. GEORGIA ENGINEER OF THE YEAR ROB MACPHERSON, P.E. Vice President Prime Engineering, Inc. Boasting a work history that spans 30 years, Robert MacPherson now serves as Vice President of Prime Engineering, Inc. – a consulting engineering, architecture, and construction firm with offices in Atlanta, Baltimore, Tampa, Orlando, Houston and Hong Kong. Throughout his career as a professional engineer in the state of Georgia, he has endeavored to advance engineering as a profession, as an economic engine of the state and as a means to a better quality of life for citizens of the state. MacPherson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1984. Following graduation, the companies for which he has served a variety of roles include Chicago Bridge & Iron, Rindt-McDuff Associates and Metcalf & Eddy. In 1999, MacPherson joined Prime Engineering, Inc., where he has worked ever since on a broad range of endeavors that comprises site development, as well as municipal, industrial and aviation projects. With hundreds of local, national and international projects to his credit, MacPherson has an intimate understanding of project master planning, engineering design and construction. He offers a solid background in civil engineering combined with expertise in water and wastewater facilities. His knowledge of various delivery methods provides clients with a unique project implementation perspective. Two of his favorite engineering projects to date include: a slow sand filtration water treatment plant in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico – designed to function without power, thus allowing continuous operation even during devastating hurricanes; and the detention pond at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens – designed to allow aquatic life to grow in a water garden environment, while discreetly providing storm water quality and treatment. An active member of the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers, MacPherson has served as Secretary, President Elect, and now as President. He is married to Charlene Clark MacPherson, an electrical engineer and fellow Georgia Tech grad. They reside in Marietta, Georgia and have two children: David – a senior at Georgia Tech, majoring in Mechanical Engineering; and Lexi – a sophomore at Marietta High School who aspires to be a graduate of Georgia Tech. ENGINEER OF THE YEAR IN INDUSTRY RICHARD MORALES, M.SC., P.E., M. ASCE Director of Engineering L.B. Foster Company Over the past three decades, Richard Morales has served on many technical boards, taught Project Management and Mathematics courses, and played a number of professional roles that run the gamut from structural engineer to senior project manager, and stretch all the way from the city streets of Burbank, California to the suburban landscape of Suwanee, Georgia. Throughout his colorful career, he has worked for the National Bureau of Standards, ARAMARK, Phelps Dodge Copper Mining, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences at the NASA Johnson Space Center/White Sands Testing Facility, SOHIO, Stearns Rogers, CALTRANS and the City of El Paso, Texas. Currently, Morales is Director of Engineering for L.B. Foster Company’s Piling Division. In this capacity, his responsibilities include: technical design and engineering deep foundation solutions for national and international sales teams; providing expertise in deep foundation analysis/design support for major seaport facilities; supplying engineering support to clients that include USACE, FHWA, State Departments of Transportation, CALTRANS, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, SFWMG, NYCEDC, Chicago DOT, and APPA; and offering international technical support to the current expansion to the Panama Canal. Morales received his MSCE in Structural Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley; his BSCE from the University of New Mexico; and an Executive MBA from the Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management. He is a registered professional engineer from coast-to-coast in California, New Mexico, Texas and Georgia. Morales is also active in the engineering community, serving as President-Elect of the ASCE GA Section, Chairman of the Exploring Engineer Academy at Georgia Tech, and member of the Non-Profit Board of Directors for SkillsUSA. Sam McCachern began his career with Thomas & Hutton in 1985 upon graduation from North Carolina State University. He now serves as the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer. His responsibilities include implementing the company’s strategic plan in the daily operations of five offices. McCachern is also a project principal for engineering projects in South Carolina and Georgia, providing strategic direction on the engineering issues, regulations, and processes affecting client projects. His three decades of experience include site assessment, rezoning, preliminary engineering, permit applications, engineering design, contract documents and construction administration for a wide variety of projects. Throughout his career, McCachern has served in most engineering and management capacities at the firm. His engineering roles include design engineer, project manager, and client manager, while his management roles comprise of corporate secretary, treasurer, vice–president, senior vice– president, COO, CFO and CEO. He is also a member of the Board of Directors. ENGINEER OF THE YEAR IN PRIVATE PRACTICE SAM MCCACHERN, P.E. President & CEO Thomas & Hutton Sam McCachern began his career with Thomas & Hutton in 1985 upon graduation from North Carolina State University. He now serves as the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer. His responsibilities include implementing the company’s strategic plan in the daily operations of five offices. McCachern is also a project principal for engineering projects in South Carolina and Georgia, providing strategic direction on the engineering issues, regulations, and processes affecting client projects. His three decades of experience include site assessment, rezoning, preliminary engineering, permit applications, engineering design, contract documents and construction administration for a wide variety of projects. Throughout his career, McCachern has served in most engineering and management capacities at the firm. His engineering roles include design engineer, project manager, and client manager, while his management roles comprise of corporate secretary, treasurer, vice–president, senior vice– president, COO, CFO and CEO. He is also a member of the Board of Directors. YOUNG ENGINEER OF THE YEAR ANGELA SNYDER, P.E. Project Manager Wolverton & Associates, Inc. In her role as a Project Manager for Wolverton & Associates, Inc. (W&A), Angela Snyder is responsible for overseeing design activities, managing subconsultants, and coordinating with various agencies. Her strength as a project manager lies in her ability to work well with people on a variety of projects, understand complex projects, and deliver on her goals. Snyder’s manager describes her as “able to handle responsibilities beyond her years of experience.” She is organized, follows through consistently, and is trusted by her colleagues and clients. W&A’s Project Managers are expected to be “Renaissance Engineers” – tackling the threepart role of business development, people development and technical management. Snyder has accepted this challenge with enthusiasm and passion. In her community, Snyder was involved on the Tucker Civic Association’s Safety Committee and Zoning Board from 2010 to 2012, helping to implement and provide technical merit to safety projects around her neighborhood. As an active member of the Embry Hill United Methodist Church (EHUMC), her involvement with the community includes serving on the Finance and Children & Youth Ministries Committee, as well as volunteering with the Atlanta Food Bank, the Food Pantry and Snack Sacks – a program that provides food for local schoolchildren who do not have food to eat during summer and winter breaks. Snyder and husband Joseph are proud parents to Adeline – through whom Snyder hopes to build the next generation of women engineers. ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY STUDENT OF THE YEAR NATHAN BOYD Senior - Southern Polytechnic State University A native Georgian, Nathan Boyd holds a 4.0 GPA as a senior in the Civil Engineering Technology program at Southern Polytechnic State University. During his time there, he has assisted with the Civil Engineering Technology Department’s Rubble House Project – an initiative to create feasible housing solutions for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He has also worked as a student assistant in the Civil Engineering Technology Department and as a resident assistant for the Housing and Residence Life Department. Boyd is a member of Tau Alpha Pi Honors Society, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Surveying and Mapping Society of Georgia (SAMSOG). He participated in the 2014 ASCE competition serving as the Concrete Canoe and Professional Paper team captains. For his senior project, Boyd researched ways to improve the Concrete Canoe team and developed an implementation plan to incorporate these changes. This experience contributed to his growing interest in composite materials, and led in part to an internship with the Georgia Department of Transportation Asphalt Mix Design Unit where he earned a laboratory certification as an asphalt binder technician. An additional internship with CC Land Surveyors afforded him the opportunity to create 3D models for house layout plans. Following graduation in May 2015, Boyd intends to work and attend graduate school simultaneously. He hopes to one day serve as a part-time middle school math or science teacher while pursuing cutting-edge research in materials engineering. ENGINEERING STUDENT OF THE YEAR BRANDIE BANNER Senior - Georgia Institute of Technology Alpharetta, GA resident Brandie Banner is a senior at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she is studying Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental Systems. During her time at Georgia Tech, she has served in several student leadership positions. Most notably, she currently serves as Student Body Vice President. Last year, Banner’s all-female senior design team had the pleasure of winning first place and the People’s Choice award in the Georgia Tech Inventure Prize competition for their “SafiChoo toilet.” During the Summer of 2014, Banner tested the design in Kakuma Refugee Camp. After graduation, Banner hopes to pursue a career in the International Development field. She hopes to couple her passions with her engineering education to design systems related to water and sanitation in the developing world.
Published by American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. View All Articles.
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